I suspect that the final, definitive answer for the Newtown tragedy will not be forthcoming. The only person who might have provided some insight was the mother. Unfortunately, she was the first one who was killed. So what I will be proposing is pure conjecture, based not on fact, but on my understanding of what has been reported about the gunman.
Let me start with the fact that he evidently had some type of mental disturbance; the words autism and Asberger’s have been quoted. A baby sitter from years ago mentioned he was on some type of psychoactive drugs, and I certainly would not be surprised if he had been on them recently. People that have known him have mentioned that he has been withdrawn and not very sociable – which does smatter of autism. Autism and Asberger’s are not associated with violent behavior, however, my feeling is that both disorders are associated with excess adrenaline in the brain.
Adrenaline, as we know, is a rage hormone. I can visualize a scenario where rage may have been building up inside him, but it was trapped in a persona that was not able to communicate. With the holidays, his awareness of young, “happy” children may have been a reminder of his bleak, lonely childhood that was friendless. Who better to blame than the one who brought him into this world.
Autistic children can be exceptionally intelligent. He was given an indoctrination to guns that I suspect is unusual in most households with autistic children. Like many other children, he very likely got exposed to violent video games which may have triggered within him the idea for an outlet of his rage.
I cannot conceive of this type of behavior in any person that does not have anger issues. My understanding is that the majority of young people involved with shooting episodes have been on psychoactive drugs. If it does turn out that he was on a drug or drugs, I would say unequivocally that it contributed to what happened. These drugs are a frequent cause of suicide in young people, and we know that a number of these children kill others before they kill themselves.
It does not matter if we are talking about ADHD, depression, autism , or Asberger’s (the latter two I suspect are a type of ADHD) – these conditions are often associated with excess adrenaline, the fight-or-flight hormone. Since I am a great believer in treating the cause of illness, would it not make more sense treating these problems in children by reducing adrenaline than by using drugs that may be contributing to these tragedies.
Gun control measures, eliminating violent video games, having teachers carry guns to school, etc., are all Band-Aids. They do not deal with the basic cause of the problem. However, if this country and its drug-controlled medical system is unwilling to approach illnesses from the cause, then by all means try the other measures, but I suspect they will not work, and the recurrent slaughters will continue.